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A glioblastoma

is a type of cancerous brain tumor. The cause of a glioblastoma is usually unknown.

Signs and symptoms:

Signs and symptoms may depend on the size of the tumor and where it is located. You may have any of the following:

  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • A change in vision or loss of vision
  • Changes in personality
  • Problems with speech, memory, hearing, or balance
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body
  • Seizures

Have someone else call 911 for any of the following:

  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have a seizure for the first time.
  • Your seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.
  • You have more than 1 seizure before you are fully awake or aware.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a second seizure that happens within 24 hours of your first.
  • You are injured during a seizure.
  • You are confused.
  • You have sudden changes in your vision.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have new or worsening symptoms.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • You feel anxious or depressed.
  • You have a poor appetite.
  • You have trouble swallowing.
  • You continue to have a headache after you take your medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for a glioblastoma

will help decrease symptoms and prevent the tumor from growing. It may be difficult to completely remove the tumor. You may need any of the following:

  • Medicines may be given to control or prevent seizures and decrease pain. Medicine may also be given to decrease brain swelling.
  • Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-ray beams to kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy medicines are used to kill cancer cells.
  • Surgery may be done to remove as much of the tumor as possible. This may help relieve symptoms such as headaches and seizures.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Rest as needed. Do not plan too many activities for one day. Take short naps when you need them.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods will help your body stay strong during treatment. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, nuts, and cooked beans. Eat small meals more often if you have nausea. You may need to meet with a dietitian to help you plan your meals.
  • Go to physical, occupational, or speech therapy as directed. A physical therapist can help you increase movement, strength, and coordination. An occupational therapist can help you find ways to do your daily activities more easily. A speech therapist can help you improve your speech.
  • Get support. A brain tumor can change the way you act, think, and feel. Your memory, concentration, and ability to learn may decline. You may feel anxious or depressed. Talk with family and friends about these changes and about continuing care and treatments. Talk with your healthcare provider about counseling or therapy. This may help you manage anxiety and depression. Join a support group to speak with others that have gone through treatment.

For more information and support:

  • American Brain Tumor Association
    Phone: 1- 800 - 886
    Web Address:

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Glioblastoma (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.